my Tennessee

When I expressed my disappointment at the behavior of Smart Girl Media, my DC brother quipped that I live in the “heart of the heart of it.” That makes me sad.

My Tennessee is mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. It is beautiful and filled with good people. The Tennessee that I know and I love doesn’t sort everyone by red shirts and blue shirts. My Tennessee realizes that everyone is connected and usually by family. My TN is composed of people who care about their neighbors, near and far. My TN is embarrassed by the undercurrent of racism and doesn’t tolerate it being out in the open. My TN has always looked upon college education as fancy, but expects children to graduate from high school and do their best. My TN doesn’t glorify ignorance and discourage small children from learning from anyone in the wrong color shirt. My TN church ladies are pure souls who quietly and without fanfare, lift the downtrodden. They are not the self-righteous wannabe church celebrities who pat themselves on the back as they kick the hungry or homeless. My TN is composed of politicians whose goal to remain in office is sought by helping keep economies alive and the poorest employed. It is not represented by elected officials who will sacrifice the needs of the people in order to block any accomplishments by the people in the wrong color shirt.

I love Tennessee and the people who live here. If the heart of TN has turned angry, I want to heal it. We are better than this. So much better that I don’t want to accept this ugliness as the heart of TN. I prefer to think of it as the gluteus maximus of our state. You know, the part that needs to shape up.

9 thoughts on “my Tennessee

  1. I read the post at the blog on the Tennessean site, and I too was concerned by the statement that was quoted there. But I didn’t want to just take it at face value … so, I asked Bridget to elaborate on her statement.

    Here is what she had to say:
    Comment by Bridget Geegan Blanton
    I’ve heard about the blog posting regarding my voter reg. talk at the Convention. First off, if you watch it, it is obvious that I stress LEGAL conduct in all of our dealings with voter registration…rule of law above all…

    as for that blog posting…here are the facts.

    Of course, the text at the blog was taken completely out of context. Typical..wouldn’t you agree?

    I was responding to a question from a Californian regarding California laws on the books regarding voter registration as conducted legally in the state of California.

    In California, a person conducting a voter registration drive is only legally obligated to give anyone a form who asks for one..they are not legally obligated to deliver it to the Registrar of Voters.

    This is clearly indicated at the California Sec’y of State web-site.

    All political parties involved in voter registration in the state of Californian from Democrats and Republicans to the Green Party and the Communist Party of America party are well advised on this law.

    In fact, it is my understanding that the legal code inserting this guideline into California Voter Registration law was written by a Democrat.

    The statement on this blog obliterates the legal explanation given to the Californian asking a specific question about California law.

    My words were twisted to suit their agenda…it’s a blog after all…no surprise…they took my comment out of context, went hysterical with the intent of smearing me.

    this question comes up every single time I speak on voter registration without fail.

    California and Californians are clearly very invested in the upcoming election as our state hangs on the edge of an economic apocalypse. People are really worried and stressed out here. We live in neighborhoods with 3 empty houses in a row. Businessess are closing. Our friends and families are moving out of here.. It’s scary…we don’t who will lose their job next.

    It is my job to explain the practical application of registration law so that non-partisan voter registration drives can be conducted in a manner completely compliant with laws on the books.

    This is why it is so important to spend time reviewing laws on the books as listed on your Sec’y of State’s web-site, specific to Voter Registration. The variations in laws between the states is pretty wide. What is legal in one state my not be applicable legally in another state.

    We arm ourselves with laws, information and guidelines as specified by the state…and I make this clear again and again in my talk.

    At every Sec’y of State web-site you will need to look up two categories of information…laws and guidelines regarding who is eligible to vote as well as the laws and guidelines regarding the legal conduct of a voter registration drive.

    Bottom line, rule of law must be followed when engaging in this activity.

    The fact that Smart Girl Politics is a non-partisan group is clearly evidenced by the make-up of their membership. This non-partisan make-up extends to how Smart Girl Politics looks at voter registration drives..that is…non-partisan…

    One question from one Californian about one specific California law has been taken wildly out of context at that blog.


    SGP supports non-partisan voter registration – bottom line!

    You can see the discussion here:

    You can also see the video from which the quoted material comes from. The American flag comment is at about the 32 minute mark, the “not legally obligated to mail it in” comes at the 36 minute mark. But I recommend watching the whole thing for complete context.

    And speaking of healing, how in the world does this fit in with that ideal?

    Or shutting out people that you once called friends simply because you disagree on some political points?

    I am keeping you and your family in my prayers, Cathy.

  2. Hi,

    Well, I’m from Metro-NY, and moved to Upper Eastern TN two years ago, because I like it here. Although I sometimes see signs that worry me, I am happy to say that my little corner of heaven still has a lot of what attracted me to begin with. I travel a great deal for work, and have been in every corner of the USA. Eastern TN is different, and most definately NOT “typically” Southern (which is a silly idea to begin with, but hopefully you understand what I mean by that.)

    Anyway, on the way to church a couple of weeks ago, I lost control of the car my wife and I were riding in, and wound up in a ditch. Lots of perfect strangers (in a very rural area, no less) stopped to offer help, including one gentleman who offered to take us “anywhere we needed to go,” and another fellow and his son, who, upon seeing our predicament, returned 5 minutes later with an enormous John Deere tractor and plucked us out like it was nothing. He acted like this sort of thing happens every day.

    This is a good time to remember that, if we see someone in trouble- say trapped in a burning vehicle, most of us are NOT going to decide whether or not to help based on their religion, political affiliation, or sexuality. We’re just gonna get them the hell out, and back to safety!

    The things that we hold in common will ever be more important than the things that separate us. We forget that at our own peril.

  3. I’m so glad that you were rescued by people with good hearts. Whenever a storm takes down a tree in TN, everyone shows up with a chainsaw. TN can be a beautiful place AND state of mind.

  4. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks! Tennessee Wild is working to protect Tennessee’s mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. Come hike with us sometime!
    Jeff Hunter
    PS: I follow you on Twitter. That’s how I got here.

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